By ChestnutSlippers
2 years ago

Bad Teachers

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Bad Teachers

When we are young, we are taught to respect grown ups with real jobs, as well as believe that they know better than us and must have our best interests at heart. I was always pretty anxious around teachers, but at the same time I always believed they cared a lot about my future, and wanted to help steer me in the right direction. During my 20ish years of studying, 70% of my teachers through school and University were pretty good. However, those are no fun to write about, and so this article is about the teachers from my College Foundation year, who will always hold a special place in my heart for being pretty darn dreadful. Please read on!

Art College was the defining moment in life, which set me to realize that some teachers really did not care about their students education or future AT ALL. In High School, our art teachers were relatively decent. They always turned up to lessons, spent time with students individually, looked at and marked our work, and would allow us to ask them questions whilst giving helpful advice and constructive criticism. This might seem pretty standard, but in communal schools in my area it was fairly common for teachers to be absent to lessons and not so much as glance at our work... Enter college life.

On the first day of Art College, all four classes were gathered into one room for the course introduction. Seems pretty organised right? Well, no. You see instead of getting an introduction to the course, we were told a strange little story that would foreshadow the rest of the year. It went as follows:

"Three Art graduates were hired to work on a special project. They were told where they would be working, and to bring art equipment with them. They excitedly hopped on trains and arrived at the building. A receptionist greeted them and sent them to a room. When the students entered the room, there were three chairs for them to sit on, so they each sat down and waited.... and waited.... and waited. Hours passed by, and no one came. So one student left. After a few more hours, another one left. But the final student took our his sketch book and started working. He returned to the building daily, and by the end of the month he had completed his project."

Cute story right? Nice moral? Perhaps, for the scenario it is set in. However, now consider the student who kept returning to the building to be a different person. Instead of being a successful graduate hired for a professional job, he is a poor student travelling to college daily by train, for a course he paid for with all of the savings he earned from his part-time job. He brings his own art supplies, sits on a chair at a desk, and works in a cramped room that he pays to work in - even though he has more space at home. No one comes into the room or looks at his work, no one guides him or gives him any indication on how well he is doing, no one offers advice or criticism so that he knows whether or not he is improving.

This was our college course in a summary. Our tutor rarely showed his face, when he did he was almost instantly gone again in a flash. He had no idea what any of us were working on, he did not give us any briefs or any direction, he didn't even know most of our names! The other classes were no different, aside from one - 3D Design - which relied heavily upon using workshops (those students were taught, guided, and supervised, and from what I recall they did very, very well) The rest of us though, struggled. Before people say "Art is not a thing you can teach, like maths or science." Yes, yes it is. There is so much to be taught, it is pretty much endless. And my years of education both prior and post College proved this.

In case you are wondering why we didn't leave the College, well, a lot of people did. I however, had my heart set on a university course which required a foundation degree. So I used books from the library, as well as online resources, to teach myself as much as possible. I knew I wasn't getting my money's worth, but I needed the grade, so I choose to stick it out.

Our work was not checked until the very end of the year, when we had to apply for University. By that time, I had pretty much just upgraded my High School projects, repeating the things I had been taught by good teachers in the previous year. I passed and got into University, so I guess it wasn't a complete loss. Still, I believe I could have stayed at home and learnt far more, plus saved an awful lot of money, if only my University course hadn't required a college diploma.

So I bring you to the moral of this story. Grades, diplomas, and degrees may or may not mean a thing. However, how a person is taught, guided, and advised, means EVERYTHING. Teachers, you are some of the most important people on earth. You quite literally help to mold the future not only of your students, but of the entire next generation. Please share with them your enthusiasm, help them to learn lifelong lessons, not just gain a grade or certificate, and remember that you yourself are always learning, too.

And employers, please consider judging a workers capability on the skills and knowledge they posses, rather than on letters or numbers assigned to them by other people, who may or may not be actively professional themselves. I may have passed my College year, but I certainly did not deem it worth it, and I would have been just as capable of taking on the University course without that wasted year. There are other ways to tell if a person is passionate, intelligent, and has the skills required for the job. Using questions, conversation, or even offering them a short trial, would be far more accurate ways of judging an individual's potential.
2 years
ze2000 Many modern teachers are lured by money and conditions. Some find out it's nothing like they expected. It's the sad reality.

There are some out there that do it because it's their passion, but the number is decreasing...
2 years
2 years
ChestnutSlippers This was definitely the case with these guys.
2 years